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Meet the Flock, part 2 January 26, 2007

Posted by Laura in Farm.
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The Goofball Brothers

These handsome White Faced Black Spanish cockerels (young roosters) are very rare, especially in the U.S.  The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (a group dedicated to educating people about the diminishing numbers of many animal breeds) lists these striking birds as in critical need of preservation.  That means that there are fewer than 500 of them left in this country and that they may disappear entirely without new breeders to increase their numbers.  That is one of the reasons we have chosen to raise them.

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(Brother number 1 poses in his formal attire in hopes of wooing the “henfolk.”)

Last spring, when our hens began to go “broody” (decide to “set” and hatch eggs instead of lay them), I ordered fertile eggs from several breeders around the country.  After 21 days beneath their surrogate mother, six White Faced Black Spanish chicks peeked out from beneath her wing.  Unfortunately, predators claimed all but these two siblings before they were even three months old, so we will need to acquire new stock ourselves in order to do our part to preserve the breed.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that these identical brothers have never gotten proper individual names.  During their awkward adolescence, they came to be known collectively as the Goofball Brothers, mostly because it took them so much longer than the other cockerels to learn to crow well.  Their early attempts were quite comical.

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(Brother number 2 tries out his best cock-a-doodle-doo now that he’s learned how).

Even though they are good-looking guys, they don’t have the commanding presence that Percy does.  While Percy walks regally around the yard with his devoted entourage following him, the poor Goofball Brothers try in vain to impress a few straggling ladies and develop their own following.  It has yet to work.  At least they have each other for company.

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